Seasonal rituals and connecting with nature

Having written recently about being a fair weather Pagan, it struck me that this is a perfectly reasonable way to do things, if the wider context supports it. Doing winter ritual indoors, or quickly, or not at all, causes no issues if rituals are not how you connect with the seasons.

Over the years when I was running ritual, there were some people for whom the eightfold wheel provided the time when they really got out into the trees. People who are overworked, people in very urban environments, people with no confidence about getting into the woods, may find it harder to do so without the support of a ritual group. It’s worth noting that all my ritual locations in that time were green spaces in urban settings, not anything remote.

Sometimes the issue is learning to see nature where you are – in sky and season, urban trees and the many wild things that make their homes around our homes. Nature is in us and with us, for many it’s just a case of learning to recognise it.

I’ve talked recently about having a shifting daily practice. For me that has a seasonal aspect, of necessity, but whatever form it takes, it’s about an ongoing process of engagement. So if you’re doing something every day to tune in to the seasons and the living world around you, this impacts on ritual. It gives you a firmer basis to work from for seasonal ritual and it also means that if you need to do your ritual work indoors, it’s not costing you a sense of connection.

With the right kit (decent shoes and coat for a start) walking in winter is often a good way of connecting, where standing about outside would leave a person far too cold. For people who cannot walk, being immobile outside likely won’t work either. If you can’t get out much, sitting at windows can be very productive. Use the senses that are easiest for you as a basis for making your connections. If you’ve got the resources to challenge yourself – all well and good, but if you haven’t, then take it as a creative challenge instead.

When ritual is something we do to connect with the seasons, we’re more likely to go in with a script based on what we think the season is supposed to be. When ritual is a celebration that comes from knowing how this season is unfolding, we’re in a stronger place to do something meaningful. An indoor ritual based on a body of outdoor experience is thus likely to be deeper than a cold, short outdoor ritual based on what we thought was going on.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Seasonal rituals and connecting with nature

  • Ziixxxitria

    I always appreciate how you balance the spiritual with the practical. In addition, it seems I always plan to leave a short comment, but you manage to prompt thorough thought from me instead.

    Your last paragraph resonated with me. I have been starting on the ADF dedicant path, which involves reflecting on the different high days, but I keep finding myself at a loss just writing something mechanically down based on things I read. However, during the high day and afterward, it all opens up and becomes so clear just how I can relate to that time of year by… actually experiencing it! Who would’ve thought?

    I’ll also add on to your note about finding urban green spaces… It doesn’t have to be deep into the ‘wild’ to find nature. Particularly if you are willing to pay attention to the less obvious animals, like insects, or animals that are around us so much that we start to ignore them, like squirrels and sparrows. In fact, those might be the most important to pay attention to because if we see them so often, we have a wonderful opportunity to observe in detail and really see how the whole year relates to their lives.

    Personally, I always notice the worms and snails that come out around my doorstep. The snails really liked eating my jack-o’-lanterns this October.

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